Euthanasia As A Christian Ethical Dilemma Homework Essay Sample

Having to make a complicated choice between two different options is a part and parcel of life. The choices, which people make, define their future spiritual growth and create premises for their evolution. While it would be erroneous to state that the wrong decisions that people make mean that they are bad people, the line between taking the wrong step and living the life of sin is very thin. Herein the significance of spiritual counseling lies; when facing a dilemma that seems very difficult due to the complexity of the situation that one is trapped in, a Christian leader may show the path that will lead to the further salvation.

Ethical Dilemma

The issue of euthanasia has been quite topical over the past few years, which the case in point is a graphic example of. The case presupposes addressing the problem of a young woman, who lost her ability to move to a tragic accident, and has been paraplegic ever since. Due to a rapid and significant drop in her life quality, she has been thinking of euthanasia as a possible solution to the problems that she is having now, starting from physical ones to the assumption that she is a burden to the family. The dilemma is, therefore, that she could end her life so that she could not feel miserable anymore, yet the aforementioned step is viewed as inadmissible from the Christian perspective. The resolution of the dilemma includes carrying out one of the following steps:

  • Joni could go to the state, in which euthanasia is considered legal, and put herself out of her misery;
  • Joni could identify new goals in her life to strive for and get her priorities straight, recognizing the importance of her family and, therefore, focusing on them and the enhancement of her spiritual growth.

Core Beliefs

Although the Bible is rather clear on the issue of assisted suicide, one must admit that, in some cases, the scripture tends to be somewhat forgiving to the thoughts of assisted suicide in the instances that can be viewed as justifiable. For instance, in the moments of intense suffering, the Christian saints may have had the corresponding thoughts. Particularly, the instance of Job being tortured deserves to be mentioned as a graphic example of the phenomenon in question: “So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life. I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity” (Job 7:15-16). Therefore, being weak in considering the idea of ending one’s life is not interpreted as something to be ashamed of or punished for. The approach under analysis is quite sensible, as it gives room for further remorse and reconsideration of one’s values.

As far as the actual actions are concerned, though, the Biblical postulates point clearly to the fact that assisted suicide cannot possibly be tolerated or allowed by the Christian religion (Lamca, n. d.). Therefore, the process of an intervention aimed at addressing the patient’s problem will have to be geared towards giving her life a new meaning instead of wallowing in misery and feeling reluctant to communication or any other experience that life has to offer. Hence, the following core belief should be taken into account when designing the approach for helping Joni advance in her assessment of the situation and the analysis of her options.

Resolution

In order to resolve the problem in a Christian way, one should consider explaining Jodi that her life is a gift from God and that she does not have the right to reject it; otherwise, she would reject God. Instead, she should focus on appreciating what she has and making the best of the bad situation that she has been trapped in. Particularly, it could be suggested that she should work on her spirituality, thus, reconciling with the Christian faith and regaining her connection to God.

Evaluation

The direct and open conversation, which I will have with Jodi, may help her reconsider her choice and, therefore, reconsider her opinion about her current situation. One must admit that the process of persuasion is not going to be easy, as she has clearly been through a lot of suffering and may be reluctant to accept God in her heart. Thus, it will be desirable that an intervention should be carried out. To be more exact, it will be necessary to make sure that Jodi should have the support of her family members. Jodi should understand the significance of the family’s support and, therefore, get the message across to her in a more efficient manner (Prowse, 2015).

Comparison

As it has been stressed above, the other option is often viewed as an opportunity for a range of disabled people, who find it far too difficult to adjust to the changing environment. An assisted suicide may be viewed as an easy way to end the suffering, yet it still does not provide the solution to an even greater issue. Specifically, the concept of salvation needs to be brought up. The proponents of euthanasia assume that it is the right of a person to choose whether they want to live or not. In other words, the very foundation of the moral, which the supporters of euthanasia use to prove their point, revolves around the egocentric perception of reality and the focus on one’s life as the phenomenon that is not related to God in any way (Diffey, n. d.).

The above-mentioned assumption may be viewed as legitimate by the people, who feel that they have suffered enough to have the right to make a mistake regarding their choice of priorities and behave in an egocentric, non-Christian manner. However, while admittedly being an extenuating circumstance in the given situation, the selfish choice that defies God and the very essence of the Christian religion still remains a wrong step to make in terms of one’s spiritual evolution and the chances for salvation (Mousavi, Akbari, Kashani, Akbari, & Sepas, 2011).

Conclusion

Although assisted suicide is often interpreted by people suffering from complicated conditions, in general, and paraplegia, in particular, the specified option must not be viewed as a sound choice to make, as it blocks one’s way to the Christian salvation and defies the very basis of the Christian faith. Primarily, the fact that people choosing euthanasia put themselves above God in judging g whether they should live or not needs to be mentioned as the prime argument. Although the emotions, which paraplegic patients such as Jodi experience are quite understandable and forgivable, making the self-destructive choice such as assisted suicide must not be viewed as acceptable. Therefore, an elaborate intervention strategy based on Jodi’s need for support of her family members and her faith in God needs to be designed.

Reference List

Diffey, D. (n. d. a). Chapter 4: Departure from wisdom. Web.

Lamca, C. (n. d.). Chapter 8: Intellectual obstacles to wisdom. Web.

Mousavi, S. F., Akbari, A., Kashani, L. F., Akbari, M. E., & Sepas, N. H. (2011). Euthanasia in cancer patients, Islamic point of view. Iranian Journal of Cancer Prevention, 4(2), 78–81.

Prowse, C. (2015). Embrace, with joy, marriage and family life. The Australasian Catholic Record, 92(3), 330–338.

Traditional Vs. Cyberbullying In Children

Abstract

Cyberbullying is a relatively new concept that emerged in the light of progress associated with the development of the Internet and various online communication tools. Researchers investigated the impact of cyberbullying on children and teenagers and compared its effects with the influence of traditional bullying. It was found that around 11% of children or teenagers were once victims of cyberbullying, approximately 7% were both bullied and were bullies, and 4% of them bullied someone else online. Compared to the statistics of traditional bullying occurrence, it can be suggested that cyberbullying is far less persistent. The paper focused on investigating the difference between cyberbullying and traditional bullying of children and teenagers, suggesting that there is a problem in how they use the Internet and social media to communicate.

It was concluded that children and teenagers are far more likely to react emotionally to verbal abuse online due to their lack of experience communicating with other people: what adults may shrug off, children will take too seriously. Therefore, it is the parents’ job to ensure that their children use the Internet safely and take precautions to prevent online abuse from occurring. Modern social media platforms offer their users options to block and blacklist certain people, make their profile private and only available to friends, and so on. Cyberbullying will end when parents teach their children to ignore the abusive language, not read mean comments, and report offensive language; possessing knowledge on how to use the Internet can significantly reduce the instances of online harassment. Overall, digital bullying is less of an issue compared to traditional bullying in real-life situations when abuse can get physical and lead to adverse implications.

Annotated Bibliography

Peebles, E. (2014). Cyberbullying: Hiding behind the screen. Paediatrics & Child Health, 19(10), 527-528.

According to the author, the term “cyberbullying” has emerged only recently, with no research articles published before 2004 referencing it. While there is no universal definition of the concept, the majority of explanations focus on repeated activities on the Internet aiming to cause psychological harm. Cyberbullying can range from verbal harassment to exclusion; activities associated with it can take place via numerous tools such as social media or instant messaging. It is noteworthy to mention that the key difference between traditional bullying and cyberbullying is the anonymity, which has adverse effects on both the victim and the bully.

Kowalski, R., & Limber, S. (2007). Electronic bullying among middle school students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(6), 33-30.

The research included a 23-question survey and the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire given to 3,767 middle school students (6, 7, and 8 grades) to examine children’s experiences with cyberbullying. According to the survey, 11% of respondents indicated that they had been cyberbullied at least once, 7% of respondents stated that they were victims and bullies, and 4% indicated that they had cyberbullied someone else (Kowalski & Limber, 2007). The researchers found that chat rooms, e-mail, and instant messaging applications were the most common methods of cyberbullying (the study was conducted before the emergence of modern social media). The research is significant due to its early detection of cyberbullying as a problem and the predictions that it would exasperate in the future because children’s use of the Internet and electronic communication technologies was unlikely to reduce.

Kowalski, R., & Limber, S. (2013). Psychological, physical, and academic correlates of cyberbullying and traditional bullying. Journal of Adolescent Health, 53(1), 13-20.

The researchers anonymously surveyed 931 students in grades 6-12 to examine their experiences with both traditional and online bullying by using measures of depression, anxiety, self-efficacy, and overall wellbeing. The study participants were differentiated into four categories such as victims, bullies, bully/victims, and those not involved in bullying (categorizations were similar for both traditional and electronic bullying). It was found that those participants who belonged to bully/victim groups had the lowest scores regarding the identified measures of anxiety, depression, self-efficacy, etc. Therefore, the study concluded that there was a significant overlap between traditional and online bullying because the psychological, physical, and academic correlates of the two types of bullying were similar.

Cassidy, W., Jackson, M., & Brown, K. (2009). Sticks and stones can break my bones, but how can pixels hurt me?: Students’ experiences with cyber-bullying. School Psychology International, 30(4), 383-402.

The research aimed to investigate the extent and the impact of cyber-bullying cases on the youth while exploring the behaviors from perspectives of both victims and bullies. Also, the study had an objective to provide an insight into the growing problem to inform policymakers and educators on the appropriate measures for prevention and intervention. Researchers concluded that the problem was relatively new since bullying through electronic means never existed thirty years ago. While it was identified that cyberbullying was a persistent problem that requires management, no relevant strategies for its mitigation were formulated.

Laftman, S., Modin, B., & Ostberg, V. (2013). Cyberbullying and subjective health: A large-scale study of students in Stockholm, Sweden. Children and Youth Services Reviews, 35(1), 112-119.

The researchers aimed to study the prevalence of cyberbullying among students, the overlap between traditional and online bullying, and links between the subjective health of students and their experiences with cyberbullying. It was found that 5%, 4%, and 2% of participants were victims, perpetrators, and both victims and perpetrators respectively. It is noteworthy that cyberbullying and traditional bullying usually overlap since students that were victims of traditional bullying are at a higher risk of being subjected to cyberbullying. Similarly, a conventional bully is more likely to become a cyberbully. After conducting the OLS regression analysis, the researchers found that being a cyberbullying victim was associated with worse subjective health if to take into account other socioeconomic factors.

Characteristics of Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is defined as activities targeted at harassing and humiliating a person through the use of technologies such as SMS, instant messaging apps, online social media, chat rooms, and other methods of digital communication (Peebles, 2014). Because of the prevalence of social media and online communication is continuously growing, cyberbullying has become of concern to parents, educators, and policymakers. However, this paper will focus on exploring the argument that cyberbullying is different from traditional bullying and does not have the same magnitude and physical harassment. It is essential to investigate this perspective because it will allow formulating a strategy for the reduction and prevention of cyberbullying on an individual level.

Unique concerns of cyberbullying include three characteristics such as persistence, permanency, and difficulties with noticing the problem overall. Regarding the persistence of cyberbullying, digital devices usually offer the convenience of continuous 24-hour communication, which makes it more complicated for victims to find relief. As to permanency, most information that is communicated via electronic means is public and cannot be erased if not reported. A negative reputation online (including that of a bully) can harm individuals’ employment possibilities, college admissions, as well as personal relationships. Cyberbullying is hard to notice because it is not apparent; parents of teachers may not see it taking place since its impossible to overhear or see (Stop Bullying, 2017).

Difference Between Online and Traditional Bullying

While connections between traditional and cyberbullying have been made, it is imperative to explore the differences to determine whether the latter is a problem (Kowalski & Limber, 2013). If to look at the statistics of traditional bullying, 28% of 6-12 grades students experienced bullying, 30% were bullied and bullied others, while 70.6% witnessed bullying at school (Stop Bullying, 2017). These statistics show that traditional bullying is a much bigger problem when compared to cyberbullying and the percentages found by Kowalski & Limber (2007).

If one is physically or verbally bullied in the workplace or at school, it is a serious issue that needs resolving; very often, there is no universal solution to this type of harassment since each case is different. Online, however, no one can assault anybody or cause physical harm. The worst thing that happens to the victims of cyberbullying is that they get called names or become subjects of false rumors. The impact of such online activity is not near as severe as the impact of the same insults or rumors in real life because on the Internet one has to actively participate in communication before labeling oneself a victim; to be precise, one has to make a point of reading the information that is being spread.

Overcoming Cyberbullying

For those people who cannot take the insults or bad language that is directed to them online, it is recommended just to stop reading and providing a reaction that the bully wants to evoke. Also, one can use an array of tools that social media offer to report negative language and block users; most forums and social platforms provide such possibilities. It is crucial to remember that online hate is reinforced by the fact that there is no physical interaction taking place – a bully is hidden behind his or her computer screen and thus feels safe to type whatever he or she wants. Therefore, a victim of online bullying is a victim by choice that prefers to read the insulting comments and take them personally instead of ignoring or blocking them.

It is important to mention that all studies included in the annotated bibliography only investigated the influence of cyberbullying on children, which suggests that adults are far less prone to become victims of online “abuse.” Several reasons may explain why this occurs. First, younger people are more inclined to insulting each other. Second, teenagers and children are far more likely to give an emotional response to verbal abuse; emotional maturity comes with age, which makes adults less vulnerable to insults that can cause depression in children or teenagers.

Because children react emotionally to insults that are said about them online, it is suggested that they do not use the Internet without adults’ supervision. Parents should understand that the online world is not only games but also a place filled with negativity that can affect their children.

To conclude, the problem lies in not young people being angry at each other and writing insulting messages but in poor parenting and the lack of understanding of what children can find online, who they speak to, and what websites they use. In many cases, a person has to be at least sixteen years old to use the majority of social media platforms; thus, many children or teenagers break the Terms of Use by using some website, about which their parents have no idea. Also, there is a variety of methods to secure the usage of social media. For example, Facebook allows users to blacklist certain people from reading and responding to posts, ensure that only friends can read updates, and so on. To ensure that cyberbullying does not affect their children, parents should be educated on the available security options.

References

Stop Bullying. (2017). Facts about bullying. Web.

Exchange Rate Regimes: Is The Bipolar View Correct?

This paper is a summary of the Distinguished Lecture on Economics in Government: Exchange Rate Regimes: Is the Bipolar View Correct? article published in The Journal of Economic Perspectives in 2001. The article by Stanley Fischer describes the problems of reforming the global financial system. Precisely speaking, he notes that all of the recent crises have occurred in countries with fixed or semi-fixed exchange rates among which there are Russia, Thailand, Korea, and Brazil.

However, for several countries especially rigidly pegged their currencies to the dollar, a fixed rate is proved to be more reliable. The author explains the fact that in the 1990s, changes in developed countries and emerging economies took place at a faster rate, mainly the introduction of the euro and financial crises. It is noted that the group of countries with floating rates comprises countries with managing float.

In this work, Fischer asserts that the regime based on the soft peg exchange rate is non-viable when the authorities undertake to maintain a certain level of the course or the narrow limits of its market fluctuations that are appeared in countries open with respect to international capital transactions. Currency crises have shown that the country cannot simultaneously perform the following operations:

  • to maintain fixed exchange rates;
  • to sustain the mobility of capital;
  • to conduct monetary policy oriented to domestic demand.

In the scientific literature, this statement is called the “impossible trinity”. In this paper, Fischer claims that in countries open to international capital flows a soft peg exchange rate cannot be maintained. Nevertheless, the existence of a wide variety of modes based on flexible exchange rates is possible. Moreover, it is expected that the policy would not be indifferent to the movement of exchange rates in the majority of countries.

The target of setting the bipolar mode in the exchange rate is reflected in the recommendations of the oversight of the IMF member states to some extent, although the formal introduction of a foreign exchange regime is voluntary to states themselves. In view of this installation, the so-called “exit strategy” was developed by experts for the countries of intermediate exchange rate regimes that are characterized by more or less rigidly fixed exchange rates and the transition to more flexible regimes with the courses.

As for developing countries, in particular, small and poor ones, the IMF encourages the establishment in one form or another of a currency board system that means in practice the conversion of the national monetary system in the sequel or branch of the financial system of one of the main countries of the West. Fischer also approves the phenomenon of “dollarization” that keeps a significant share of assets in the form of instruments denominated in foreign currency (in particular, US dollars). Thus, according to the Executive Board “dollarization” is a byproduct of the globalization of financial markets to a certain extent.

Fischer concludes that there is a reason to believe that there are only two stable systems of exchange rates: a free-floating exchange rate and the use of another country’s currency (perhaps, through the introduction of a currency board). Pending the success of the European Economic and Monetary Union new currency units might arise. The author admits that nowadays people live in an uncomfortable and transient world where floating rates sometimes too volatile, at the same time, fixed rates are often too vulnerable to speculative attacks.

Thus, Fisher argues that at the present level, financial market integration pegs cannot be sustained, except cases where a country firmly committed to the binding mode and is ready to reinforce its necessary policy measures and institutions.

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